Um where do I start? Another week, working hard, trying to do the Fathers week. It was a rough week I can’t lie. The adversary was trying to get to us from every angle, but we made it through!!
Really I think that is the going away lesson this week, that it despite all the ugly, all the craziness every day we made it back home, and we woke up each morning with a new day, a new start. Those moments when we felt we could not go one more step, the Lord gave us the strength to take two more, and little by little, we kept moving forward.
We lost our baptismal date on Tuesday, and my companion and I were just distraught. But the next day our District Leader called us and went with us to meet with her. We sat down sang a hymn, “Let the Holy Spirit Guide,” and we prayed. My companion started the lesson, and our DL interrupted her, and said that he had come to do the baptismal interview (not planned?!) The sister looked at him and said “But I don’t want to be baptized?!” But, she agreed to meet with him. About half an hour later, we met back up with them. The sister took my hand, looked into my eyes and said, I am sorry that I said I would not be baptized, but now I do…. I am ready now to be baptized.” what a miracle!
But the thing that made the difference was nothing that the Elder said, it was the hymn we sang. As we tried to invite the spirit, the Holy Ghost touched her heart and she received a confirmation that the church was true. #thelittlethings
We are trying a new technique for reactivation and retention: BAKING! We have started making brownies with some of the recent converts and less active members and its has been so much fun! I have now learned how to light a gas stove without making a small bomb, and baking has always been great therapy when things get rough. We are also trying to serve more. On Wednesday we painted the house of a recent convert with the other sisters. It was actually a lot of fun, though I think we ended up whiter than the walls ha-ha. By the time we finished, we all looked like “gringas.”
On Sunday our baptismal date did not come to church, so we will have to put a new goal with her, but she still has a firm desire to be baptized, we just have to keep the hosts of hell at bay one more week. It was so crushing when she did not come, though the Lord was there, as always with a bunch of tender mercies. We had another investigator surprise us, and we sang some of my favorite hymns. After church, the elders had a baptism of a young boy and the spirit was so strong. To see this young man’s excitement inspired me to keep going, and that though we don’t see all the fruits at once, they will come in time…. but in the Lords time, not mine.
In my personal study this week I have been reading through the first chapters of Alma, my favorites! They are the best when it comes to missionary work. The other day I was reading and I came across my favorite story in the Book of Mormon, well, one of my favorites. It is in Alma 8. Alma is sent to Ammonihah to preach to the wayward saints and he is rejected. Feeling distraught and kinda defeated he makes his way back home. I imagine that he felt kinda like I did this week, but the Lord does not call quitters, and he wants us to finish the job. So, he sent an angel, but not just any angel, it was the same one that was sent to call him to repentance. But this time, the message was very different. He says (in Spanish, sorry)
“Bendito eres, Alma; por tanto, levanta la cabeza y regocíjate, pues tienes mucho por qué alegrarte; pues has sido fiel en guardar los mandamientos de Dios, desde la ocasión en que recibiste de él tu primer mensaje. He aquí, yo soy quien te lo comuniqué. Y he aquí, soy enviado para mandarte que vuelvas a la ciudad de Ammoníah y prediques otra vez a los habitantes de esa ciudad; sí, predícales.”
Wow, when I read this I felt the spirit so strongly, and it was as if the angel was talking to me. In this past general conference one of the brethren said something really powerful. I think I have shared it before but it is worth repeating. “The Lord does not call you because of what you have done, he calls you despite what you have done.” But Latter-Day Saints keep on trying day, and Latter-Day Missionaries never ever give up. So, we gotta tighten the boot-straps and keep working, one week more, one day more, and one hour more….
The time is ticking, we are going into the final minutes, and there are no more “time-outs.” We have to run, run, run, until the buzzer sounds and the Great Jehovah says “the work is done.” So, that’s what I’m gonna do.
I love you all. Thank you for your love, your support, and your prayers. They mean so much more than you could ever know.
Hoorah for Israel!
Love, Hermana Hipol